16 thoughts on “‘The brakey’ freight train, Norton Station c1959

  1. I remember going to Scarborough on a school trip with Frederick Nattrass School from Norton Station, it must have been about 1961 I think, very exciting journey but took a long time.

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    • Rita,I also remember going on a trip from Frederick Nattrass school to Whitley Bay from Norton station, it was such an experience, I think everyone loved it, and it was just before we all went on to our senior schools, it was 1959. As for the Station Tavern myself and a lot of my family used to go there on News Years Eve, and we used to sing and try to sing better than the Blackwell family, it was a wonderful night, all my aunts and uncles, sadly those nights don’t happen now.
      I also remember going to Seaton Carew from Norton Station, my mums friend pushing the pram with one baby in and the rest of the pram chock a block with tins of sandwiches and bottles of pop, and us children running on ahead with our buckets and spades, not a care in the world. If we were lucky and our parents could afford it we we went to the amusement park and had some candy floss as a rare treat. Simply a wonderful childhood.

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  2. In reply to David William’s original query, Norton railway station closed on 7th March 1960 to passengers and on 10th August 1964 to goods traffic. Around 1959 four passenger trains each way called there on weekdays, probably stopping services to or from Hartlepool.

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  3. I suppose that at eighty years old a chap could be forgiven for being surprised that there are youngsters who are not aware of some of the places that we once took for granted. Andrew’s querie regarding Norton Station has certainly generated a lot of interest from some of the mature gents. It also stirred my memory to the point where I took a brief stroll through my book case to come up with a book that I brought back from Stockton a few years ago. It is a ‘must’ for anyone interested in the Railway at Norton. The title of the book is “An Illustrated History of Norton. The Iron Road”. By Carol Fox.It is a glossy paperback of 64 pages printed by Billingham Press. It contains many sketches and photographs and is well worth a look through. In the acknowledgements there is special reference to Bob Harbron, a one time prolific contributor to the Pictures Stockton Site. Where are you now Bob? Your articles are missed by us.

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  4. D C H Townsend, Dickie Spooner from Norton. R B Proud from Bishop Auckland, big hitters. It was said that Townsend made the biggest hit when the ball landed on a goods train and finished up in Hartlepool. When cricket after the WW was allowed on a Sunday, I can remember Warwickshire guesting at this ground with high scores. Probably the reason was part of the deal when Dickie Spooner signed for Warwickshire and leaving Norton.

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  5. Tim Hardy’s reference to the name change of the Station Arms to the Cricketers’ Arms is a reminder of the efforts of hard hitting batsman on the Norton Ground attempting – and succeeding – straight driving not only over the fence but over the railway! Some with Norton memories will be able to list some of those batsmen, not only from Norton CC. Certainly Jack Carr, when he was playing for Stockton and also for Durham when the ground was hosting a Minor Counties’ match.

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  6. I too remember the sunday school trips to Seaton. The highlight for me was one year when the train pulled in at Seaton station and the train driver happened to be my father so me and my friend, Tommy Devey, travelled back to Norton on the footplate.

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  7. On hot summer weekends, especially pre-war, Norton station could be so busy with customers awaiting trains to Seaton Carew and the seaside that queues formed down Station Road. It was not uncommon for a relief train to be parked on the back line of Norton triangle ready to take the excess to Seaton. So says my dad, who remembers it all.

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  8. If you want to see some old photos of Norton Station, drop into the nearby Norton Tavern pub for a pint – the walls are full of them.

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  9. The Norton Tavern is the (excellent) pub situated just behind the station buildings on this photograph. Until the mid 1970’s the pub was known as ‘The Station Tavern’ for obvious reasons. Vaux, the brewery that owned the pub then, changed the name to the Cricketers Arms, a name that did not go down well with the landlord and the regulars as the Cricket Club is next door and the name showed no imagination. A petition was organised and the name was soon changed to ‘The Norton Tavern’, the name remains today.

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  10. Norton Junction Station was up from the Green and down Station Road to the gates, on the other side was a couple of rows of houses long since demolished. St Mary’s Church Sunday school outings to Seaton Carew began from there. This was before the war of course and we would all meet at the Church then walk down to the Station. The exciting bit was getting the steam train and it stopped at all the little stations until we reached Seaton. It seemed a fair old walk from there to the beach and we all got a bag of Sparks cakes and sandwiches plus I believe, a shilling, a lot of money at the time. I never remember it raining but it was often cold. That never stopped us having a great time on the beach and in the arcades. I have a memory that the last one was in 1939 then the beach was closed. We got home tired but happy, simple pleasures but with wonderful memories.

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  11. Yes Andrew Norton did have its own station. It was an important Junction feeding different parts of the country. I would suggest you contact Mr Robert (Bob) Harbron, Chairman of Norton Heritage Group for more detailed information he has the full details on Norton History.
    As I no longer live in Norton where I was born, perhaps it would be worth a trip up Station Road and have a drink at the pub near the Sports Ground. You are then next to Norton Station Crossing Gates, now sadly demolished, the station was on the left and the signal box on the right. There was also a footbridge which we would stand on to watch the trains go by and get covered in soot. I hope this brings some memories to other people. You did right to ask Andrew.

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  12. I took some photographs at Norton station in early 1965 and by that time the site had been cleared, so I guess demolition took place between July 62 and then. Quite a few former railway sites in the north east seem to have been cleared c1963, as though a determined effort was made to tidy things up around this time.

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  13. As I recall Norton station closed in March 1960 possibly around the same time as the old station at Yarm. Passenger services were,as I remember, fairly sparse, limited to stopping trains to or from Hartlepool. The Newcastle -Middlesbrough expresses did not stop. It is likely that parcels traffic was dealt with at Stockton.

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  14. At this time the station was still in use and passenger trains stopped there. The advertisements and platform seat show that the station was well cared for at that time. I remember that by July 1962 the station had closed and the platforms and station buildings, though still in place, were becoming dilapidated. I hope that by showing this picture, more info will be forthcoming such as: exactly when did the station close; what was the last train to use its platforms; when was the station demolished and any other relevant facts.

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